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Scottish EPA probes huge HFC release

UK: A huge HFC refrigerant gas release from a meat processing facility in Perth is being investigated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

The accidental release from the Anglo Beef Processors UK last year was described by SEPA as the second largest release in the food and drink sector in Europe.

The release was revealed when the site submitted its Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data returns for 2021. At over 6,600kg, the release represented 87% of the total HFC emissions of 7,646kg from all sectors in Scotland in 2021. 

SEPA’s carbon reduction, energy and industry team have begun an investigation into the cause, which was related to the site’s refrigeration system. The investigation is currently ongoing and SEPA says it will determine whether any enforcement action is required as a result of its findings. 

An Anglo Beef Processors spokesperson told STV News: “This was an accidental release which occurred following machine failure and once we became aware of the problem, our team took the appropriate corrective action.”

The plant has since switched away from using HFCs and now operates on a refrigeration system using R1270 and glycol refrigerants.

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